Monday, February 25, 2013

February '13 Reports

24 Feb 2013: The weather has been grey, grey grey, cold, cold, cold for the whole week, although without rain. What happened in the world? Richard Briars, much loved comedy and shakespearian actor died. Artist Banksy's mural on a Poundland in London turned up in a Miami salehouse with a tag of $400,000, and no-one quite knows how a large piece of wall got there. The state of Missisippi, one of the losers in the Civil War was finally reminded that it had not actually banned slavery, and a bill was hastily passed!
The Pistorius trial continue to occupy the headlines, and astonishingly, the self-confessed murderer was granted bail on the basis that he would not try to visit any airports or abscond - but his agent wants to get him back on the track, training, as if nothing happened (more like training around the prison exercise yard, I say!). Four grotesquely hideous Islamist militants who wanted to make their own British 911 were rightfully put in jail for a long time - seems that they were frustrated attention-seekers. They had collected money in tins, and then blown it gambling on currency. The trial of Vicky Pryce was declared void because the jury seemed not to understand basic principles, and there will be another very expensive trial with a new judge and jury. What about the Peveril Solar house?
  • House annual 5,475, biennial 5,072 kWh
  • GSHP annual 3,449, biennial 3,068 kWh.
    The cold spell in February likely to stay till the month's end.
  • PV annual 3,013, biennial 3,217 kWh. 
  • Sunbox annual 2,482, biennial 2,774 kWh. 
  • Ground Temperature  10.4ºC . We have had a week of unremitting cold greyness and I am amazed that the temperature has held up. 
17 Feb 2013: (happy birthday daughter!) We have several days of sunshine, following the long rainy times, I wonder how long this will last? the figures for the house have remained almost the same, annually, because last February was rather similar with a cold spell followed by a sunny one.
The world has seen many news stories. Pope 'Ben' Ratzinger announced his resignation, the first such since the 13th century and probably the best thing he has ever done. His problems aren't over, If he leaves the Vatican, he could be arrested for intentional negligence over the sexual abuse cover-up when he was chief of doctrine before before becoming Pope. The Horsemeat scandal continues into a European dimension with the whole phenomenon of container trucks containing animal protein back and forth national borders seemingly designed to evade all standards, inspectors and identification - only DNA reveals the truth! A large Meteorite passed over Russia, landing on a point 55ºNorth, so that if it had flown in only 4 hours later, it would have been landing on the UK. It caused a lot of damage to buildings and injured more than a thousand people (through shrapnel) but it seems nobody died. Suck that, Dinosaurs!

The news doesn't stop! North Korea exploded a nuclear bomb underground, making one wonder if the meteorite had been a N Korean experiment gone wrong - don't worry folks it came from the West, causing some speculation in Russia that it was an over powered American weapon gone wrong. Finally, the famous blade-footed Olympian and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva on Thursday in some sort of dramatic scene - admitting he killed her, but denying it was 'pre-meditated'. That must have special significance in South Africa, because here it would make a minor difference - it is still murder! so many events, I dont know what to put up a picture of! Two days later, she is playing a leading part in a TV Reality show, pre-recorded.
Oh yes, the state government of Missisippi realised that it had never actually abolished Slavery after being on the losing side of the Civil War in 1865. (It hastily passed the law on 7th Feb). How's that for southern redneck governance?
Don't worry about Peveril Solar house figures, too similar to last week's to be worth printing.  Above, a succession of the sunniest days of the year so far.
(Ground Temp was 10.5ºC.)

10 Feb 2013: Well, in the UK, we've had a rainy grey week, but what else happened? D Cameron placed his leadership on the line by allowing a free vote in the Westminster parliament over Gay Marriage, and it passed (despite Tory MPs threatening a leadership challenge). The bones found in the car park in Leicester were confirmed as belonging to King Richard III, reviving all the discussions about whether he was hunchbacked (no, he had scoliosis), or evil (was he demonised by the Tudors and Shakespeare?), and was he actually the King? (yes, they checked the DNA against a descendant in Canada), and what did he look like? (a forensic face restorer rebuilt his face from the skull). In Staffordshire there was a scandal at the main hospital where it was believed that administrations, contracts, targets, cost savings and all took precedent over the Patients - this is a good metaphor for what happens in Education where fear of league tables and Ofsted take precedent over the students. The final big story is the creeping of horse-meat into burgers and lasagne, starting with 'traces of DNA' to the discovery that some were 100% horse-meat. Seems that we buy meat products from the French who buy it from dodgy Romanian abattoirs (where recent laws favouring cars over horses on roads are resulting in a vast number of horses being redundant). What about the Peveril Solar house?
  • House annual 5,424, biennial 5,067 kWh
  • GSHP annual 3,408, biennial 3,045 kWh. The cold spell in February is with us.
  • PV annual 3,014, biennial 3,207 kWh. 
  • Sunbox annual 2,477, biennial 2,757 kWh. Static after the grey weather.
  • Ground Temperature  10.3ºC . We have had a week of unremitting greyness with rain all day Sunday.
3 Feb 2013: The week has been sunnier with an outstanding day on Saturday. England has been having a grand debate about the HS2 rail link, London to Birmingham and beyond. Generally, I am in favour of anything which represents progress. Mostly, increased speed has its advantages on the longer routes. England is a quarter the size of France, so the distance argument is weakened. I am not interested in the 'beautiful landscape' argument because the same arguments were trotted out against rail and trams in the 19th Century. However, I considered the evolution of the aeroplane. There was massive improvement in the technology in the early days, but since the Boeing 707, it has been a slower incremental development. 
    The Concorde flashed briefly for about 30 years, but the extra speed never made it cost effective. The mass market demanded wider, safer more luxurious fuselages with better video and service, with lower prices - better airports, smarter systems, shuttles, booking, navigation + landing, noise emission etc. But they haven't got faster.
    I considered also the Motorcar. They haven't got significantly faster since the 1970s because of road conditions, but there has been a vast degree of improvement in reliability, emission control, climate control, smoothness, corrosion resistance, navigation, road-holding.
   Could this be applied to the Train? Better rolling stock, more comfortable, power sockets and free broadband, better coffee, more competitive pricing? Be contented with minor increases in speed, but demand longer platforms, greater comfort and reliability. I am coming round to the view of the Antis, but driven by a technological-historical viewpoint.
   Meanwhile, how did the house do?
  • House annual 5,468, biennial 5,040 kWh
  • GSHP annual 3,454, biennial 3,028 kWh. House and GSHP falling nicely, but will we have another cold spell in February?
  • PV annual 3,013, biennial 3,206 kWh. 
  • Sunbox annual 2,446, biennial 2,763 kWh. both going up a bit.... 
  • Ground Temperature  10.9ºC . It helped, having a sunny day at the weekend. Unfortunately, the long term forecast is for another period of cold weather weather, perhaps even, snow!

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